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Underlying science of Brain-Based Education

Education is experiencing a paradigm shift from fear-based learning (the classical behavioural approach) to brain-based learning. The impact of this approach has significant implications for both learning and pedagogy.


Learning begins the moment a child is born. Learning that takes place under stress results in performance based only on fear whereas learning that occurs in supportive and thriving environments provides the platform for children to reach their full potential; emotionally, socially, physically and academically. The heightened anxiety a student feels when they fail, suffer ridicule (real or perceived), or find themselves in a fearful situation causes a cascade of stress hormones to flow through the limbic system, which can impede a student’s learning.  As environmental sensory information is received and processed, influential memory systems and behaviours are developed according to the fulfillment or the violation of four basic psychological needs: the need for a sense of belonging and attachment, the need for control, the need for pleasure as opposed to hostile or fearful situations, and the need for healthy self-esteem.


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